Maryland Court of appeals adopts new foreclosure rule

Posted: 8:27 pm Tue, October 19, 2010
By Steve Lash
Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s highest court on Tuesday approved an emergency rule designed to identify and weed out irregularities in the mortgage foreclosure process.

The new rule, which takes effect immediately, allows circuit courts to appoint independent lawyers to review foreclosure documents for problems. If a problem with the lender’s paperwork is detected, it has 30 days to show — at its own expense — why the foreclosure should not be dismissed.

Judges may also summon lawyers and notaries public into court when the authenticity of a signature or the veracity of an attestation to the accuracy of a document’s contents is in question.

While the changes may seem far-reaching, retired Judge Alan M. Wilner, head of the committee that drafted the new rule and presented it to the Court of Appeals, said the rule simply consolidates existing powers.

Judges have “the inherent authority” to require attorneys to answer questions regarding their affidavits and to “show cause” why a case, including a foreclosure action, should not be dismissed, he told the court.

The rule merely provides “a template for the courts to follow,” added Wilner, who chairs the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure.

In addition, passing the rule will put the high court’s “imprimatur” on it and make clear to litigants, lawyers and the public that foreclosure documents will be scrutinized, he said.

Lawyers who are appointed to scrutinize the documents (known as special masters) can do so on a pro bono or no-cost basis, but only if they agree to do so, the rule provides.

‘The proverbial iceberg’

The adoption of the rule followed revelations that attorneys in at least two Maryland law firms had not personally signed affidavits that bear their names in foreclosure proceedings. Notaries public who validated those signatures have had their commissions revoked by the Maryland secretary of state.

The questioned signatures that have come to light so far are merely “the tip of the proverbial iceberg,” and there are probably more, Wilner told the high court.

Such signatures are “at worst fraudulent, at best irregular,” and call into question the validity of a lender taking possession of a home and reselling it, Wilner said.

The two law firms currently implicated in the signature scandal are Covahey, Boozer, Devan & Dore PA in Towson and Bierman, Geesing, Ward & Wood LLC of Bethesda.

Attorneys Thomas P. Dore and Jacob Geesing subsequently filed corrective affidavits — that is, an admission that the lawyer whose signature appears on the document did not, in fact, sign it.

Neither Dore nor Geesing returned telephone messages seeking comments on the rule and on their corrective affidavits.

Howard County Circuit Administrative Judge Diane O. Leasure, who attended the Court of Appeals vote, said 1,400 foreclosure cases are pending in her Ellicott City court, including 150 cases that involve corrective affidavits

And Prince George’s County Circuit Administrative Judge Sheila R. Tillerson Adams said 10,000 foreclosure cases are pending in her courthouse in Upper Marlboro. Adams said she did not know offhand how many involved corrective affidavits.

Attorney Michael Gregg Morin has filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Greenbelt against the Bierman firm on behalf of 8,000 homeowners in foreclosure.

Morin submitted a statement to the high court Tuesday, in which he praised the rule and expressed the belief that more pending foreclosures are tainted by invalidly signed affidavits.

“I do not believe that the Rules Committee or this court appreciates the nuances at the trial court level of the foreclosure bars’ efforts to avoid Maryland statutes, Maryland Rules, the Rules of Professional Conduct and common decency,” wrote Morin, an Annapolis solo practitioner.

No foreclosure attorneys testified before the high court as it considered the rule Tuesday.

But as Wilner’s committee pondered the rule Friday, attorney Mark Wittstadt urged the panel not to punish the overwhelming majority of foreclosure attorneys based on the misbehavior of relatively few.

“Bad facts make bad law and we are in a bunch of bad facts right now,” said Wittstadt, of Morris|Hardwick|Schneider in Baltimore.

The court’s consideration of the rule on Tuesday drew such a large crowd that the session was moved from the judges’ conference room to the courtroom, where the judges donned their robes and took their seats on the bench. Though the nearly hour-long session had the feel of oral arguments, the judges remained largely silent as Wilner made his case for the rule’s adoption.

Judge Sally D. Adkins was the only member of the Court of Appeals to miss the session and the vote. She was sidelined by illness, said Chief Judge Robert M. Bell.

The other members of the court adopted new Rule 14-207.1 by a 6-0 vote.

8 Responses

  1. This very interesting. I have experience the same. I will start my audit immediately. Thank you.

  2. To all GOOD DAY, Tim and Kat here!!!! Been a very long time since we have added to this content….We want to start out by saying this is monumental for Maryland; Maryland a state that loathes its citizens judicially, Maryland a state who’s federal courts are in the absolute rectum of corruption with party and corporate favor and party fixing of cases, Maryland a state where your Bar Association is chocked full of cronyisms and back slapping good old boys for its own and who regularly turns their back on their citizens, Maryland where judges despise and abhor poor pro se litigants, (their citizens representing ones self), Maryland where lawyers in practice, (low life scum and thugs as we affectionately refer to them), are encouraged to lie, cheat and steal from their clients and then have their black robbed cronies cover for their atrocities……..So, given the afore, it is our opinion nothing will change HERE IN MARYLAND!!!!!!

    Maryland already has laws on its books forcing the lender to “Prove Up” proof of title and assignments but, who amazingly and on a regular and routine bases selects to ignore this critical step that, by fact and law, would end the game…….So no, this amounts to nothing other then a Cock puffing for position, that is better position to screw the poor Maryland Citizen, this is all it is…..Nothing but dressing and nothing will come of this added gift to the foreclosure mills…..BS as we see it so if these judges really wanted to do something, they would enforce UCC Instruments Subject to Negotiations 3-202 Fixation Rules, plain and simple.

    Well, Neil, it has been a very long time since we have blogged here as candidly we do not find the information that beneficial to consumers at all or distressed homeowners…..

    Your produce the note nonsense has merely slammed the court door shut on many, many, many consumers in need…..Guess that’s a good thing if you are an investment banker parading as a consumer lawyer and attempting to lead poor lambs to slaughter all for the good of your team…..A bad thing for the majority of consumers we have met from this blog over the past couple of years…….

    Consumers, get this, No one cares about produce the note and what the unsuspecting consumer does not know is that when they make that defense, they have issued the code word for the banksters, their lawyers and the freaking judge presiding over the poor consumer, thus their case gets filed under file number 13, Trash and their case is dismissed……and the consumer is foreclosed just as planned.

    If, however the consumer were to attach the instrument, i.e., those being ones of Negotiation, then the consumer may find their genie, silver bullet and even Pandora’s box too……But they are not going to find those afore items with PRODUCE THAT NOTE!!!! They are going to get a big boot in the rump out of the courts!!!!

    Now, going against this Note bullshit, and focusing on the instrument and instrumentality, ones being that can be or cannot be negotiated, that consumer may have a saving grace argument and may even find they have causes under UCC 3-407, Alteration.

    Constantly however, the poor consumers are being feed a steady diet of shit, kept in the dark and are blooming as planned like mushrooms with the TILA CRAP!!!!!! TILA ONLY APPLIES TO CERTAIN LOANS AND HAS A VERY SHORT STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS TOO, 3 YEARS! So we find it just too convent instruments under seal or instruments of Specialty is not being used, e.g., Md. Rule § 5-102. Maryland citizens, the statue is far longer then three years so use other laws to make your cases and instead of relying on bloggs like this, beat feet to your local courthouse and start reading those law books, is what we suggest as then you will not be spoon feed that dummy food you are being feed now.

    We take personal issue with those loving lawyers up here who are getting it right, yeah, sure they are……..Every consumer we know who has engaged one or several, (as in our case), scumbag lawyers and their firms, Pesante Law Group comes to our mind right off the top of our heads and Terry E. Morris Esq, those consumers including ourselves, have ended up thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars poorer and have paid ridiculous sums of money, or been ripped off as we like to coin it, for legal services that amounted to absolutely nothing……In our case, our beloved lawyers Wilfred Pesante and Morris did nothing at all in our case….they allowed testimony from a creditor insider in the bk, that being the loving Judge Catliota, and then our beloved lawyer Mr. Morris, got a case of lock jaw and suffered a memory loose as to our exculpatory evidence and case facts…..In fact this trusted lawyer kept his mouth shut……and failed to even make the most simplest of arguments in our TILA case that being the rebuttal arguments for the disclosures, nor did he present our canceled checks and proof of our timely payments, nor did he demand the Judge, the Honorable Titus, throw out his reliance on Judge Catliota, the creditor insider, nor did he defend against the banks being Estopped from defenses to TILA pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1625(b) and the criminality of the banks offenses pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1611. In fact, Mr. Morris did nothing but pass the torch back to his team, as planned during our only hearing in eight years…..Or, as we noted, he took a fall for his team….that being the banks…..

    We have no faith in these lawyers who supposedly are getting it right……But again, we consumers have never really been told exactly what it is these lawyers are getting right?????Hmmmm could that be that good old fashion screwing that these consumers have been getting, we do not know but put it out there for grabs, we are banking on the screwing……..

    We suspect our beloved Mr. Morris, for who we are in the process of finding out that Mr. Morris is employed by Stewart Title Group and Wells Fargo, who Mr. Thomas Dore of Chovacy and Dore, represents and will let you curious consumers know as soon as we have the dirt…..We have noted Mr. Morris tends to gravitate to cases wherein Wells Fargo is a party and the Bank, this is a matter of public record….so look up your lawyers consumers…..If they are in law practice, they will have a public record. Go to the courthouse and pull their cases and read them before you fork over your mortgage money to the scum bag thieves……

    We have lost faith in the legal profession totally and would never, ever again trust a lawyer for the rest of our long lived days……..

    We are currently talking with a young man for who we know the lawyer had defrauded the consumer in his bankruptcy case….In fact, the lawyer had the bk preparer remove and leave out his lender claims on his schedules in his chapter seven case against J.P. Morgan Chase……He has allowed the bk to be fully administered, ensured sufficient time has lapsed to make the final order final and now is pandering to this devastated consumer for more money to now, open the case, then add the claims his bk prep person wanted and knew to list in the schedules to start….he then had a hearing yesterday with Chase to which he failed to tell the consumer about in which this scummy lawyer proceeds to nip in the bud a win for the banksters by volleying to the courts the question of whether or not the consumers claims may be litigated in response the banks lift stay…..Of course this gets much worse for the consumer with this lawyer who is getting it right up here and of course because the scummy lawyer intentionally did not list the consumers claims, of course the judge ruled against the consumer…..Now, if I were that consumer I would be documenting all of this but heck, it aint gonna do him no good as all the lawyers are doing the same so, that is that and his state Bar will just file it in trash….Now this poor consumer is being plugged for, you got it, more money for this scum bag of a lawyer……You got to love this as this poor consumer is paying for the screwing……too much…..yet we know about that as we have paid our fair share of 75k to those thugs too….. Did we mention that this lawyer came from the lawyers who are getting it right on this blog?????? Yup, he is and we will leave it to that consumer to tell the poor consumer readers his name………so pull up your boots, it is going to get smelly around here fast!

    An interesting thing we have observed with many of these here lawyers up here getting it right, and, in particular in our case, these lawyers who have supposedly been in practice for thirty to forty years, have NO public records of cases when searched in the judiciary search data bases…..In fact one our friends in AZ shared a brief by her opposing lender wherein the lenders lawyers illuminate these facts…….The law group who was screwing this consumer was the Pesante Law Group in DC, he may have been going by the many partners names he has had in the year or so he has had his license to screw but, the banksters were complaining about the consumers lawyers not having any public CASE records…..Amazing that the very bank would voice those observations we discovered too….Hmmmmm consumers, think these lawyers may be lawyers in corporate practice and that they are picking up some grub on the side lines? Maybe…..If they are, who is their real client, hmmmm, think it could be a bank????? No….that is too simple….but then why does a lawyer who has purportedly practiced law for thirty to forty years have no cases in court public records????? These are things you consumers need to know before you run out and throw you money at these scum bags parading around as lawyers……

    It is our opinion this is intentionally being orchestrated…..I mean, the Produce the Note concept is of course the signal to the judges and the lawyers….screw anyone really trying to see if the consumer has legitimate claims against the banks and in most instances as we have discovered, the poor consumer has many legal, viable claims…..NO, WE ARE NOT LAWYERS AND THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVISE, GOD FORBID!!!!! These are however our opinions we have honed from our own dirty little dealings with this group of heathens………For Maryland judiciary case search the link is Use it Marylanders, you may learn something about your supposed consumer lawyers…….and their judges……

    Now, lets go off on our judges for a second please….How can a lawyer who basically represented corporate criminals and thugs wherein they were banksters who lied, stole and cheated from their client borrowers become an honorable judge? What is so honorable about a person who is using favor, money and power to get his clients off the hook…..I mean really, and then this mafia like lawyer thug is appointed to a federal judgeship by our dear darling former president Bush…….Oh yes U.S. Citizens, this is a real circus here……So, this mafia lawyer is elevated to a Federal Judge and rewarded for his ability to get his criminally violent corporate crony’s off the hook????? We then have to refer to the thug as “Your Honor”? What is so honorable about aiding and abetting criminal acts???? No matter how you wrap it, it smells…..We personally find nothing honorable about these people at all and would be scared to death if we were framed up for a murder crime or any crime at all as your ass is surly gonna fry, hang or injected these days……..How can this be deemed honorable service? In our opinions, this is what is broken now in our courts so MAKE SURE YOU VOTE OUT THOSE SCUMMY INCUMBENT BASTARD JUDGES TOO, THEIR ASSES GOT TO GO along with the rest of incumbents who have sat on their rumps with their fingers up their and the banks asses…..Our plan for the moment is to vote out EVERY INCUMBENT NO MATTER WHAT HIS PARTY IS…..WE WANT NEW MEAT AND SCREW THE REST….

    Next topic, reading from Neil G book, Companion Workshops, copy write 2009: we note, on page 308, Comments regarding UCC. We note glaringly in this book, it is the opinion of NG that UCC LAW DOES NOT APPLY TO MORTGAGES? THE BOOK FURTHER REPRESENTS THAT UCC CODE ONLY APPLIES TO PERSONAL PROPERTY AND NOTHING ELSE, Hmmmmm, we have not just fallen off of the truck yet and would like to know how that is as in accordance to this simply is not so therefore, we are left to ponder why……this would be stated in this primer if not by error and are welcoming our host Mr. Garfield to kindly expound if he like please? This of course to us is suspect as if this were so and true, the poor consumer would surly only be left with TILA to fix their problems and this we simply do not accept and have a large Murder of Law Professors who think otherwise as well as some highly respected contract and bank lawyers too. If what Garfield is suggesting is fact, that ONLY UCC APPLIES TO PERSONAL PROPERTY ONLY………why then would Maryland’s UCC codes cover Alteration of An Instrument wherein they specify pursuant to title 3 of UCC Code, 3-407, what a material alteration is and how it is detected in a Deed of Trust, emphasis added here, as well as fixation rules in the allonges so to us, being those not so trusting consumers of any lawyer……we volley this back to Mr. G for his comments as we find this preposterous and nothing but nonsense but, guess if our directive was to mislead dumb ass consumers into thinking the only law on the books that will help them is TILA and, that this only law of course requires that expensive bullshit audit, and that we were gonna be paid a whopping fee of 2-3 thousand dollars for doing nothing other then cutting and pasting regurgitated statutes into a document labeling itself as an AUDIT, we might unknowingly possibly get it wrong too……It is merely a matter of economics and again consumer citizens you have lost……..I did notice how this book is chocked full of running down that dam bullshit trust and the note and all that exceedingly wasteful and very time consuming bullshit as if UCC laws do and did apply to real property instruments as we contend, then the only thing any auditor may need to do is to look to the instrument for the REQUIRED fixation of assignments and save that poor dumb ass consumer the mind boggling hours of time, days, weeks, months and years of going to your ass to get what was always right under your nose to start but then this would not fuel that greedy money machine and make all those thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands, well you get it now, of dollars for those pitiable banks and their scum sucking lawyers now would it?

    We note, the Cornel Edu Law website link above all you have to do is change the end number to negotiate the various titles under ucc code, i.e., 1 for title 1, 2 for title 2 and so one. We have spent the past four years reading these laws with our once a year reading of the entire statute. We take issue with page 308 of Garfield’s primer as according to the laws we have examined, UCC DOES NOT ONLY APPLY TO PERSONAL PROPERTY it applies to Instruments OF Negotiation, what a fucking Mortgage is if it was sold to a trust, dahhhhh…..WE NEED THE LAWS CITED ON THAT PLEASE MR. G, and thank you very much too in advance.

    Last, our old time favorite bitch, The consumers needs for audits is nothing other then bs and has no bearing on their causes of action…..These audits we have sampled, and that include some of Brads work too, (Brad, what is the MBA FOR? MORTGAGE BANKER ASS?), but these supposed and expensive as hell audits that prove to be useless, go about regurgitating consumer and lending statutes that do nothing for the consumer other then restate the statutes and act as page filler for that thirty to forty pages of useless stuff that poor, distressed consumer is paying that slim for, so no, we still do not condone those bullshit audits either, relying on the many opportunities to sample a few of these here audits also and were not impressed with what we sampled either…….We have a phone book full of names and numbers of the countless consumers screwed by this bullshit tactic and theft of their hard earned money so for those would be consumers who are contemplating this audit scam nonsense please do call us and we will share those names and numbers, you may -reach us at 410- 257-5283, we are happy to help.

    Well, this about wraps up our long overdue post…..In parting, we also caution those consumer to the regular bloggers up here posing as consumers but who are really businesses trolling for their next consumer victim they can screw or push into a loan modification that is of no benefit to that poor consumers and for which, of course, that desperate consumer must pay for an audit first that is nothing other then regurgitated statutes and laws…..How do these people sleep at night…..and may they all burn in hell on their day of judgment, god bless the scum!

    Last, we have seen no significant case wins on produce the note bullshit so we strongly recommend the consumer hunker down and read some law books under UCC as maybe if there was a “Material Alteration” to their instrument that changes the loan number or other material terms or disclosure such as the monthly payment amount or terms that consumer could shed that instrument under UCC 3-407 Alteration rules, but Neil G said UCC DOES NOT APPLY TO ANYTHING OTHER THEN PERSONAL PROPERTY, YOU BE THE JUDGE CONSUMER CITIZENS AND DO NOT BE FOOLED OR RIPPED OFF BY THESE FRAUDSTERS, GOD BLESS TIM AND KAT, 410-257-5283

    See UCC § 3-407. ALTERATION.
    (a) “Alteration” means (i) an unauthorized change in an instrument that purports to modify in any respect the obligation of a party, or (ii) an unauthorized addition of words or numbers or other change to an incomplete instrument relating to the obligation of a party.
    (b) Except as provided in subsection (c), an alteration fraudulently made discharges a party whose obligation is affected by the alteration unless that party assents or is precluded from asserting the alteration. No other alteration discharges a party, and the instrument may be enforced according to its original terms.
    (c) A payor bank or drawee paying a fraudulently altered instrument or a person taking it for value, in good faith and without notice of the alteration, may enforce rights with respect to the instrument (i) according to its original terms, or (ii) in the case of an incomplete instrument altered by unauthorized completion, according to its terms as completed.

  3. Maryland Court of appeals adopts new foreclosure rule….
    amazing post……..great……I like this.In my opinion almost every single foreclosure mil in the country engaged in this practice……so informative to all….

  4. why the extra 30 days…wtf… throw the liars out..
    as if the homeowner gets some extra time to correct their paper work?!
    nooooooooooooo as a matter of fact it in 90% of the courts the borrower is booted out of court & his or her house in less then 30 minutes.
    but at least a small move [ and yes contrived ] in the right direction.
    I just get more furious everyday. I am sooooo sick of this game.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by kim thomas, i8 wamu. i8 wamu said: Maryland Court of appeals adopts new foreclosure rule: […]

  6. I would suggest that everyone write/call their attorneys general and voice support for this being the new rule of thumb approach by all 50 state AGs.

    We don’t need a cash settlement and more fraudulent mods, we need justice, and we need all the help we can get in finding that justice. This is a great step towards that end.

  7. Finally, a law that goes directly to the cause of the problem. My question is: will we get any criminal convictions out of this. More states need to create laws like this. So far, in my count, it is Maryland and New York. Are there ay others out there. We can help. 864-241-8602

  8. this is great news and justice in on the way. Almost every single foreclosure mil in the country engaged in this practice.

    In the Washington DC metro area we still need to act against other major players and the evidence is there in the public record and they cannot hide it any more.

    Now we need to do this in VA and DC as well areas where the arrogance of these lawyers and the fact that they have the ability to cheat, forge documents because of the non-judicial nature of the system is not only perverse but criminal.

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